Posts Tagged ‘best burger blogs’

Keeping up with the ongoing burger craze in New York, Tall Grass burger shone its light on the burger addled scene recently in the East Village. Owner Kevin Huynh is no stranger to the restaurant business, having run several Quantum Leap outlets in the city. Yes… That’s right! I said Quantum Leap–the city’s well-known den of vegetarian fodder. Huynh traitorously switched to the dark side of the trade, by slinging out various carnivore favored sandwiches including 6 grass-fed burgers, a turkey burger and flame-grilled chicken versions. Tall Grass Burger is a modern, clean and simple burger shop, complete with friendly staffs that are clearly learning the ropes in the burger world. With counter service and a help-yourself condiment station, Tall Grass serves up colorful names to label their beefy delights. I asked one the staffers, “What should I order? ” After initially a blank face expression, I got the nod to go with the signature Tall Grass, which was generously stacked with crispy onion rings, sliced avocado, cheddar cheese and fiery horseradish mustard.
 
 
  I found out about the Tall Grass Burger from The NYC Food Guy, which he reported on, and he was then featured on Eater . He stated that, “Tall Grass Burger was doing a buy one-get one 50% off deal”. I snatched up the chance to take advantage of this thrifty opportunity, and get burgered East Village style. Tall Grass has a small dining room with counter tables and perched window seats, where I gazed overlooking the yellow chariots whizzing by on a balmy New York afternoon. I was treated to an array of fried potatoes, which was overzealously forced upon me, by one of Huynh’s staffers. As I waited for my “Classic and Tall Grass” burgers I tasted the fries which were speckled with little crystals of garlic that burst onto the buds with every bite-which unfortunately was over powering.
 
 
 
 

The burgers arrived, and I was impressed with freshness of the pickles, onion, and fronds of lettuce splashed on the paper lined baskets that were the vehicle for my burger tasting. An oozing of horseradish mustard cascaded down the side of the soft bun, which had been griddle pressed to perfection from the top, leaving a toasted char on the roof of the sandwich. The scent of toasted sesame instantly hit the nose, followed by a juicy but season less patty. For the Tall Grass burger, the flavor was accented by excellent horseradish mustard which was the highlight- the burger meat itself lacked depth and finished in my mouth as a nonchalant memory. I’m sure a less than fanatic burger adventurer would find some solace and satisfaction in this deli mimicked nosh, but for me- Tall Grass was a “short order”.

 


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Off the highway and down a desolate dirt road in the posh hamlet of Montauk is where you’ll find new restaurant, Navy Beach. A massive make-over reveals a smart-chic beachy restaurant with 200 ft of sand and serene views at its door step. A large bar anchors the dining room with white-washed panelling and exposed brick walls. The decor consists of nautical memorabilia, glossy photographs of swimsuit models, and wall mounted boxes housing vintage 1950′s style bathing suits and caps. Chef Paul La Bue is at the helm navigating a seasonal coastal favorite menu with an emphasis on local seafood. I was cordially invited by new owners Franklin Ferguson, Frank Davis and his wife Kristina, to the friends and family launch, which was filled with locals feeling excited and relieved that Navy Beach had graced their community. Apparently, the predecessor Sunset Saloon, hadn’t been anything special for the last couple of years.

   

My catch was The Navy Burger, an 8oz. meaty monstrosity constructed with a special hand ground beef blend from Cromer’s Market in Sag Harbor. The chef’s secret is a smokey sweet bacon marmalade which was generously slathered over the top of the patty. I was escorted to my beach-side perch along the far wall passing plenty of vino soaked patrons as they took advantage of the laid back vacay life style. The fire lights that were buried in the sand outside my window beautifully flickered as I struggled to see the menu. A happy haze came over me as I gained my thoughts and realized, ” I’m on the beach in Montauk, New York……not St. Barths or Anguilla! ” The server took my order as I settled in with a trio of blue points and a cold beverage to satisfy my sea-air propelled hunger. The oysters were meaty and smooth, with a hint of sweet-a perfect burger prelude.

 
 
 

The burger arrived glistening with fatty goodness as loads of thick gooey bacon marmalade cascaded on to the plate. The first bite was a party of flavor in my mouth, from the smokey sweetness of the marmalade, to the velvety creaminess of the cheese. The bun was a faux-Spotted Pig style grillade version, light and toasty and melt in your mouth. As I wiped the last thumb full of marmalade off my plate,I answered the waiter’s question “How was everything?? ” …without saying a word!
 
  In addition to the burger the menu also features, Halibut Ceviche;Asian Chicken Salad with honey-miso dressing,Lobster Pot Pie and Pan-Roasted Filet with Lobster Tempura. The host and staff of Navy Beach made this moment memorable and definitely one I want to repeat.
 


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Open for only a few days, Black Swan NYC is the latest in the Gastropub craze sweeping New York. Located in a restaurant starved section of Bed Stuy-Brooklyn, the owner Sershan Pather wanted to open a nondescript neighborhood spot, Sershan says, “where people could just hangout”. The ex-auto shop is shielded with a black fortress like front,the dining room is plastered with black wood paneling, hefty hand carved recycled wooden tables, banquettes and a long communal that completes the room. At the entrance, the bar is large and comfortable with various ales,stouts,and lagers from the four corners of the globe, all supplied by Craft Beers. The menu is nouveau pub fare,with Chef Cynthia Walker late of Brown Betty turning out plates like, Salt Cod Fritters with Carmel Ginger sauce, Roasted Island Spice Chicken with butter Rum plantain mash and sautéed collard greens and Chicken Wings [served at the bar] with sweet & spicy Thai or Jerk sauce. Sershan says,” This is a culturally rich neighborhood, with no real quality place to eat, it was nice seeing the guy that’s lived in the neighborhood for 40 years eating next to young students who just moved in”.

The Black Swan burger is available loaded with assorted toppings, such as bacon, avocado, goat cheese or fried egg.Today I’m having it the way owner Cynthia likes it, with white cheddar, caramelized onions and a little ketchup. The beef is from The Piccinini Brothers, who also supplies Dumont burger. I sat in a banquette and watched Palermo beat AC Milan in the Serie A soccer, anxiously awaiting Cynthia’s handy work. My burger arrived perfectly stacked with white cheddar, an 8 oz. patty smothered in caramel brown onions, on a well toasted brioche from Balthazar Breads. The fries were stuffed into a chinese take-out box, and were crispy thin, with just the right amount of salt. The burger was juicy and forthcoming with plenty of flavor, the crunchiness of the brioche was a little troubling and crumbly, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. If I could change anything-that would be it. The burger was fat, pretty and had plenty of personality- not a bad first time Black Swan burger.

After a Planes,Trains,and Automobiles type trek to Black Swan NYC, I was greeted by an excitement and fledgling restaurant staff, that were generally happy and looking forward to serving their neighborhood,mostly locals, some of which decide to hangout there on their night off. This attitude and commitment, and good solid Gastropub chow , will hopefully keep this place a float. I enjoyed my experience at Black Swan, and the burger was worth the 35 plus minutes it took me to get there by the MTA’s shoddy haulage.

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After forty years of deterioration, Harlem’s population began to see a speedy increase sociocultural changes in the late 1990s. This was due to a change in federal and state laws and policies, including a concerted effort by local crime fighters to clean up, and wash out the bad element that plagued the area. In 1994, when the city began supplying funds for the area, it increased the property value rapidly to approximately 300% today-even President Bill Clinton moved in. Despite all of these positive changes the folks in Harlem have had little to experience as far as fine dining goes, maybe a fried chicken leg or bowl of collards-not that was a bad thing. Finally 5 and Diamond Restaurant has arrived, a neat modest little restaurant serving a loud and exciting menu, complete with a mouth-watering fat-back burger, to a culinary starved and growing neighborhood.

Chef de cuisine David Santos, told me “The neighborhood was really crying out for a good brunch/dinner place, people are stopping me on the street and thanking me”. Chef/Owner Ryan Skeen, of such restaurants as Resto,The General Greene, Irving Mill and Allen and Delancey, teamed with local Harlemer’s Lia San Filippo and Selene Martinez to open 5 and Diamond. After some reality show worthy controversy, the team seems to be on a smooth, less dramatic course. The brunch menu is a touch of Southern home comfort featuring; Cornmeal Griddle Cakes with banana walnut butter,Yogurt Granola with fresh fruit, Buttermilk Biscuits with homemade apple butter, Tracy’s Canadian Fried Chicken, and David Santos’s Shrimp and Grits Hush puppies with smoked paprika aioli. The dinner menu was a solid Mediteranean/American feel,featuring Cavendish Quail and Liege Salad,Rabbit Sugo Parpardelle, 28 day Aged Creekstone Bone-in Shell Steak with roasted mushrooms,creamed Tuscan kale and tobacco onions.

I sat in the window seat surrounded by a modern Japanese-esque style decor with antique style steel bay windows. There is a sleek counter bar where patrons can order from a bar menu highlighting Grilled Prawns with Papa’s Fritas and Gruyere and Mimolette Mac n Cheese. The Pat Lafrieda burger,was perfected by Skeen at his last venture, and is carefully constructed with a 60%/30% blend of beef cheek, bavette and pork fat back-which is ground on-site daily. This “heart stopper” was a gorgeous, 6 oz creation slathered with luscious white cheddar cheese, fresh homemade vinegar dill pickles, red onion and lettuce-all stacked on a char-soft potato bun. I started with a tasting of the Buttermilk Biscuits with creamy-fruity homemade apple butter, which were divine. The Shrimp and Grits Hush puppies followed, with smoked paprika aioli-these “puppies” were crispy and delectably fantastic !  The Yogurt Granola with plump strawberries and blackberries was fresh and delightful. After this bevy of  pleasure it was burger time, the pork-beef beast arrived open-faced with duck fat fried home fries in tow. I carefully stacked the green leafy lettuce and crunchy dill pickles into a towering impressive looking sandwich. The first bite was juicy and bloody, pork fat back ran over  my hands as my eyes rolled back in my head, my thought was, ” These guys are onto something here ! ”  The burger flavor was salty, robust and aromatic, accented by the tartness of the vinegar dills and a buttery potato bun. The fries however, were not my favorite, tasting kind of stale and greasy. The 5 and Diamond burger was definitely one of my favorites in the city, for the hearty eaters there is a Texas Burger version with fried egg and bacon that sparked my interest too-maybe next time.

 5 and Diamond, is worth the trip North, so if you’re the type that thinks that there’s no treasures above 59th Street, slip on your loafers and grab a taxi to Harlem. The bad element that was once part of this hood, is transforming into young urban yupsters with an appetite for Noveau chic cuisine. The tasting menu that showcases Sea Urchin,Seafood Tagliatelle, Rabbit and Ratatouille Sausage Spaetzle, Duo of Lamb and Spiced glazed Doughnuts is a steal at $50 with wine pairing $85.00. Thank-you to Chef David Santos and Ryan Skeen for making my brunch-“a spa experience for my mouth”.

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I grew up in Australia,which is a fanatical, tea saturated country and the idea of having a spot of tea in the afternoon was in-bred in my psyche at a very young age. Sanctuary T located in swanky cocktail and espresso laden Soho, is a testament to the wonders and flavors of the world’s best teas. Owner Dawn Cameron and Chef Kenn McGoey have created a spa-salon like tea temple complete with potable and non-potable versions of the ancient leaf. The decor is dark wood modern, panelling with an open floor plan and outdoor bay windows facing busy West Broadway. I was welcomed by manager Kermit and his band of tea servants and given a perch right in the window with the aroma of 50 brews of tea wafting through the air and I immediately fell into a tranquil state,as I tried to concentrate on my friends excited chatter.

The menu features typical brunch fare with a European twist, also known for tea infused creations such as Salmon Poached in Red Moon Tea, Halibut slow cooked in Lychee Black Tea and Smoked Turkey Eggs Benedict infused with Pear Cinnamon Tea. The burger on the menu, which used to be a slider, recently was promoted to a fines herb seasoned patty served on a towering sesame freckled brioche with blue cheese and roasted tomato. I sipped a refreshing goblet of Iced Rose Tea, and observed several people seep in the Zen like atmosphere, possibly concocted by the Long Island like version being readily served.

My burger arrived sitting appealing on a plate with a side salad, although to my disappointment it was cut in half, thereby undoubtedly letting the beautiful juice run out on the plate. I took my first bite and was welcomed with a rich aromatic herb flavor, followed by a storm of creamy blue cheese and roasted tomato. The bun was lightly toasted and perfect, I thought the overall flavor of the patty was impressive, but lacked in succulence and juiciness. It wasn’t a large burger,reflecting kind of spa like persona about it. Not that this was a bad thing, but something to be aware of before visiting. For those of you that are famished, I would recommend coupling this one with a heaping helping of tea infused French Fries. Prices are Soho marked, and you should call for a reservation  to avoid waits. The staff are friendly and cordial, and are the type that will do their best to make your experience special. To replicate your tea flavor experience in your home kitchen, be sure to grab a souvenir of some of their ingenious T Dust Tea Seasoning on your way out.

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On the most holiest of holidays, I traveled to South Carolina to celebrate Easter at Myrtle Beach. The weather was warm, the beach was vacant and the water was ice-cold. Of course burgers were in my vacation prospectus, the question was which one? I had spent several years vacationing with family and friends in South Carolina, and this question was answered rather easily, it was Hamburger Joe’s. Joe Brooks, aka Hamburger Joe, started his restaurant career 34 years ago with a locally well-known seafood restaurant called White Point. After several years of frying fish, simmering clam chowder and filling up tartar sauce bottles, Joe decided to re-direct his fast food expertise in the form of burgers. In 1989 he opened Hamburger Joes,which he openly and honestly told me, copied after a hole in the wall burger shack, in rural North Carolina. In The Carolina’s the burgers are served with mustard-chili-slaw, or all the way-with onions. After a brief mishap where Hurricane Hugo tore off the roof, Hamburger Joes thrived, serving it’s Carolina style of burgers to locals and tourists alike.Some believe the origin of this unique topping came from the West Virginians method of hot dog makings, as they drifted down to The Carolina’s looking for employment in the early 60’s, bringing with them their mustard-chili-slaw ideals.

Joe gets his hamburger blend from Iowa beef, some say the Pat LaFrieda of the South. He adopts the smashed style burger method, and uses sharp cheddar, pressing the burgers out to a perfect 4 oz size, enabling them to neatly fit on the bun. The chili is made from Filet, Short Rib and Rib Eye trimmings from his steakhouse Joe’s Grill, along with some other secret ingredients, make for a hearty beef chili. The slaw is light and chopped fine, with minimal mayonnaise, a recipe that has stuck with him for over 34 years. The menu is cheap and simple, with hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled “Carolina”style BBQ, and a fried bologna sandwich, that may change your beliefs in processed meat. The restaurant is like a country house, wood paneling, corrugated iron roof, fireplace, neon beer signs and dollar bills draped all over the walls and ceilings, which at last count was $8000.00.

Joes hires all female servers, which many have been in his employment for many years. Joe attributes his success to simple ingredients, and a clientele that’s always in a good mood- mainly he says “Because they’re on vacation”. I sat and watched generations of families gorge on their burgers, which seem to arrive rather quickly compared to the volume of people in the room. The assembly line of burgers, sandwiches and wings were moving fast and steady, as I snuck a peek over some guys heads, as they guzzled their pints of Natty Light. The crowd was typical South Carolina, Nascar shirt wearing gents,bikers,neon-cladded woman with teased hair, and overweight, but happy golfers on a restbit from their day on the greens, loudly bragging about their supposed hole in ones.

As my back was turned, my server delivered a bevy of pleasure to my table.I ordered a cheeseburger with mustard-chili-slaw, a hamburger with lettuce,tomato,pickles and onion,and a side of crispy well-done onion rings. The cheeseburger was first of the tee, tasting rich and hearty from the chili, crunchy and zesty from the slaw. The hamburger was decent with a char-grilled smashed burger flavor, that was reminiscent for me,of its Eastern counterparts Schnippers and Petey’s. The onion rings were scrumptious, going perfectly with salt, ketchup and Texas Pete. I would imagine people who are not used to the mustard-chili-slaw combo,maybe having a problem reading this right now, but just remember there are worst things that have been eaten-I mean who would have thought that oysters would taste good!

 

Hamburger Joes is a great place to go while in Myrtle Beach, friendly,quick service,will sure bring a smile on that sunburnt face of yours. Be sure during weekends and holidays to bring your patience, Joes has been slinging out hamburgers to Myrtle Beach locals and tourists for over 20 years and by the lines to get in,shows no sign of stopping. I enjoyed chatting with Joe Brooks, aka Hamburger Joe, to be in the presence of such a South Carolinian burger founder was a definite high light in my burger quest.

Hamburger Joe's on Urbanspoon

Hidden in the outdoor pavilion of One Worldwide Plaza between 49th and 50th Streets in the Theater District of Manhattan, you’ll find Mother Burger. A burger joint with an outdoor beer garden/college campus type feel, Mother Burger also slings out, kobe dogs, grilled cheese,wings and $2.00 brews to urban youngsters, theater tourists and nearby locals. Created by Blockheads Burritos brothers Don and Ken Sofer, Mother Burger specializes in smashed fast-food type burgers reminiscent of a faux-In-Out style burger.I sat outside and gazed around at happy tables enjoying the spring weather, guys were downing jugs of amber and girls were sipping high potent umbrella drinks, I felt like I was on a Carnival Cruise in the Caribbean not a few blocks from Times Square-which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it.

Our waiter, who looked like the singer Moby, and was clearly still feeling the effects from “The Adult Flu” sauntered over and inaudiably mumbled the specials. His focus was  momentarily taken from our attention as he became increasingly worried about the flocks of “air rats” (pigeons) that were wreaking havoc on a nearby table. Reminiscent of that movie The Birds it was one of the more stranger events that have occurred during my burger dining days. Suddenly our whiskey-logged waiter came to the rescue, by banging two large plastic drink trays together. The sound was a loud and annoying clacking sound, that consequently caused the filthy flying rodents to scatter above the skies. Now that the drama was over I pondered on which burger to get, and I decided on the Single Mother with cheese and a double order of fries which are ordered separately. The burger arrived open-faced cradled in a tacky red basket,with a side container of “special sauce” which was undeniably Thousand Island dressing. The burger was relatively moist and decent, the flavor was good, and the fries were crispy. I tasted the freshness of the red-onion,pickles and tomato and the sharpness of the cheddar cheese as I consumed the little mother quicker than a pigeon picks up scraps.

Mother burger is cheap and cheerful and a moderately good burger joint with a colorful and friendly staff, if the weather is pleasurable, so will be the atmosphere. Indoors is more of a dive bar type feel than a restaurant, so stick to the outdoor seating, where you can bask in the sun and drink $2.00 Pabsts and watch the city walk by. The menu has some solid choices but stick to the simple items such as the burgers, kobe dogs and grilled cheese. And watch out for those umbrella drinks, they could leave a mark !

Mother Burger on Urbanspoon

Finally the wait is over, well nearly! Chef Jeremy Spector, accomplished culinarian of past eateries as Employees Only, Dogmatic Dog and Gramercy Tavern, heads up the helm at this British inspired restaurant, nestled in the East Village. I got the scoop, from a confidential burger source a couple of weeks ago, that a goliath meaty sandwich was going to appear on the menu for brunch to challenge this gotham of burger architects. The Brindle Room is the brain child of Chef Jeremy and CIA graduate Dean Piccolo, a beef fanatic, and owner of Sebastians Steakhouse in Morristown New Jersey. The Brindle room is a charming, cosy little Gastropub-like spot, serving a variety of fare with a small menu made up of three parts-spreads,small and large. The reason for this is to ensure an easy transition to seasonal and daily changes. Some features on the menu consist of a traditional Lancastrian speciality Potted Shrimp, Crispy shredded pork bellies with warmed spinach, and Roast Chicken with root vegetables in porcini jus. The restaurant is drowned in pleasant dark tones and has a feel, reminiscent of an old English ale house, featuring a Starck-esque wall length banquette, wooden stools and warm lighting.

I sat at the small counter/bar in the rear, and chatted to Chef Jeremy as he prepared a 9 oz patty, hand blended daily by Sebastians Steakhouse. The meat elements included aged trimmings of Short Ribs, Filet Mignon, Skirt and Rib-Eye. He pan-fried it in a seasoned cast-iron skillet, till char brown and juicy, assembled it in front of my eyes with a simple bun (soon to be Pain D’Avignon), creamy soft Stilton cheese, and earthy herb flavored caramelized onions. Perched in front of me with a generous bed of crispy hand-cut french fries, I wasted no time sampling this beautiful beast. The flavor was rich and powerful ! A mouth-watering succulence, mixed with full-bodied velvety taste of the Stilton, and slight tones of earthy herb and spice from the onions. The French-fries were perfect, crispy and salty. And to add a little” je nais se quoi” it’s also offered à cheval-with a fried egg.

The burger will open to a popular following in two or three weeks for brunch, or maybe you can pull up a bar stool like I did, and chew the fat with Chef Jeremy Spector and he might give you a sneak peek ? who knows? you may just have the luck of the Irish! or… is it the British?? Whatever! go and check out The Brindle Room and find out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

The Brindle Room

277 E 10th Street,

nr. Ave. A and 1st Ave

Ph: 212.529.9702

Around the corner from Freeman’s, the taxidermy laden, clandestine tavern that has been repeatedly reviewed by food paparazzi over the years lays the charming cafe/restaurant -The National. Opened by Jeremy Hogeland and partner Julie Dickstein 7 months ago, they have dodged the press radar relatively well, a tactic to achieve their excellence before the hordes of foodies sunk their teeth in, literally! I was interested to learn that the namesake was inspired by Hotel Nacional de Cuba, featured in Godfather II .It was the  real-life La Cosa Nostra meeting spot for charismatic hoods Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, back in the 40′s, and also featured in Godfather II. Jeremy informed me that his personal vision was to practice their “schizophrenic like” menu, which was jointly created by him, Julie and Chef Zoe Feigenbaum, and incorporates endless international eats and inspirations. The decor is cafe style cozy, scattered flea market trinkets and adornments, mother of pearl shades, antique mirrors, with the Cubano style name sign splashed high above with floor to ceiling white surgically clean subway tiles that plaster the walls. Oh –by the way – if you are wondering where the tables that you are eating on are from- none other than Meyer Lansky’s old haunt- Lansky Lounge!

The National originally opened as a cafe, so hence I decided to sample the expert young barista’s handy work, that was hurriedly serving cap’s and latte’s to a fashion forward crowd at her tiny mini coffee bar. The coffee was insanely good, with just the right amount of foam to put a smile on my face on this gloomy afternoon. The space was tight, but I had adequate room at which to perform my burger surgery, seated in front of the door, I glance around at the crowed dining room filled with Euro hipsters and East Village type style mavens, undoubtedly stopping for some quick sustenance before browsing through over highly priced duds and haircuts and next doors Freeman’s Sporting ClubFrench Culinary Graduate, Chef Zoe Feigenbaum at the helm, and was busy creating in the kitchen, a selection of tasty brunch treats such as Shrimp and Grits, Lobster Roll, Jerk Pork, Fish Tacos and Banana French Toast.

Zoe’s contribution to my appetite today was The National burger, an 8 oz.  Pat La Frieda blend burger, served with colossal chunks of Smokey blue cheese, slabs of rosy red tomatoes on a toasted brioche. Jeremy Hogeland explained to me that their genius method of pan-frying the burger in a cast iron skillet, than broiling it under the Salamander, seals the juices and makes for a tenderer succulent patty. My plate arrived with a gorgeous looking specimen of burger handy work, winning top marks for looks alone. The chunks of blue cheese had a subtle coating of bronzing, just ever so slightly tanned. The brioche bun was delicately toasted with the right amount of give, when poked with my finger. The French fries were cut in exact symmetry and crispy to the taste, with a generous burst of herb after flavor. The patty itself was juicy, plump and charred to perfection, as I gorged into this delicious burger, I really tried hard to find something wrong with it, but I just couldn’t!! I thought it was pretty much as close to perfection as a bistro style burger gets, just as Lucky and Meyer were the mastermind’s of crime, The National was this day the mastermind of the burger.

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I also tasted the Fish Tacos which were crispy fried little pieces of Cod, adorned with zesty pickled cabbage, Pico de Gallo and a homemade tortilla. I can tell you as a Taco fan, these babies rated high on my list for some of the best I have ever had!  The National is a charming place for a coffee, brunch or dinner, with an evening menu that some say surpasses its more famous neighbor. So if you’re growing old waiting in line for a Freeman’s table, stop that insanity and dine at The National!!

The National

On Bleecker and Grove Street in the restaurant saturated West Village, lies newly opened Choptank. Named for the river that flows into the Chesapeake Bay where the owners grew up, this upscale seafood shack is inspired by the very cuisine of that Maryland region. Native proprietor Bobby Werhane famed for other well-loved comfort spots such as Dell’Anima and L’Artusi, came together with Chef Matthew Schaefer and culinary servant Kevin Patricio, featuring a varietal menu consisting of Binkert’s German Sausage, Fried Oyster Po-boys and Fried Chicken with Black pepper honey. I was greeted by kind and gracious  Bobby Werhane who ushered me through his modern, yet contemporary maritime decorated split level restaurant, complete with a charming outdoor space where he says “We’re going to have some killer crab boils in the summer”- the sound of which made my ears perk up! Hoping for an invite to such an auspicious seasonal event, I stared and daydreamed that I was lounging outdoors slurping oysters and chomping on peel your own Gulf shrimp while downing cold beverages and enjoying witty banter with friends and passer bys…..alas not just yet ! I would be content tonight in a warm cosy nook gorging on my warm hearty burger watching pedestrians lumber along clenching their coats against the last of New York’s winter.

Before long, my lovely waitress served me some tantalizing Old Bay seasoned potato crisps, which were accompanied by a tangy smooth crab dip which was very rich in flavor and insanely tasty. The signature burger that I was to choose, featured a goliath 8oz blended patty, juicy and full of flavor slathered in rich creamy aged Wisconsin cheddar, pickled pepper mayo, fried onions and bacon-jam, all nestled on a perfectly toasted speckled sesame seed bun. I grabbed the burger like fisherman hauls a catch, trawling the sandwich into my mouth savoring the flavor as my eyes closed with content and delight. This was a good catch, not going to throw this one away! However, when practicing the same action on a lightly fried Oyster po-boy, I was greeted with an uninviting flavor which caused me to want to throw this catch back ! I was disappointed, and left the Po-Boy to revert back to my delicious burger. I chatted to a couple of regulars at a nearby table who swear by the crispy Fried Chicken, Virginia Ham, and zesty rock shrimp tacos. I was really happy with the burger and was very impressed with the friendliness of upfront and hands on owner Bobby Werhune, and his competent staff.

Choptank has various seating options such as an oyster bar, dining room and cosy window nooks. The bar is full featuring a plethora of micro brews and wines if that’s your thing, Choptank is a great neighborhood landing spot to enjoy all varietals of tasty Maryland inspired fare and one heck of-a-good burger. I’ll be checking back in when the weather’s warmer for those crab and shrimp boils, maybe you should do the same !

Choptank